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DBCooper

Is this the "new" dominant?

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Some notable soloists that used to use Dominant strings  have switched to Peter Infeld over the last several years:

 

James Ehnes (with aluminum D and Gold Label thick E)

Pinchas Zukerman (sometimes uses Vision Solo as well)

Glenn Dicterow (with aluminum D and tin E)

Noah Bendix-Balgley (with Gold Label thick E)

 

As well as some great quartet violinists:

 

Emerson String Quartet

Takacs String Quartet

Aron String Quartet

 

Classically, Thomastik-Infeld lists Hilary Hahn as a Dominant player, but word is that she changes to a new set 24 hours before every concert.

 

There are well-known players like Itzhak Perlman supposedly using Dominant strings, but closer inspection of publicity and concert photos show that he often uses an Infeld Red D/A, sometimes a PI D, and sometimes what appears to be a full set of Peter Infeld.

 

It seems to me that testing PI’s, they are much like a more refined Dominant string.  They retain many of the qualities Dominant made popular, but they add some increased longevity, more focused sound, improved response, and possible more sound colors.  They also seem to be a drop-in replacement adjustment-wise.

 

What do those of you who have tried both Dominant and PI think?  Are Peter Infeld the “new dominant” among classical players and soloists?

 

** I know there are many people using other strings by Pirastro and other makers, but this thought is limited to the scope of Dominant users switching to Peter Infeld.

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2 hours ago, DBCooper said:

What do those of you who have tried both Dominant and PI think?  Are Peter Infeld the “new dominant” among classical players and soloists?

I don’t think I’d go quite so far as to  say they’re the new Dominants, but PI strings are certainly very popular. They’re power strings, and they work very well for soloists who want a bigger, bolder sound. I still think Dominants have more richness, but the PIs are impressive.

I’m seeing and installing Evah golds on lots of violins as well. I think they’re similar in popularity to the PIs. That’s another string set I’ve really liked lately. 

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23 minutes ago, The Violin Beautiful said:

I don’t think I’d go quite so far as to  say they’re the new Dominants, but PI strings are certainly very popular. They’re power strings, and they work very well for soloists who want a bigger, bolder sound. I still think Dominants have more richness, but the PIs are impressive.

I’m seeing and installing Evah golds on lots of violins as well. I think they’re similar in popularity to the PIs. That’s another string set I’ve really liked lately. 

I agree with that completely-- Dominants have a richness to the core of the sound that isn't as present in PIs.  But what PIs do well is indeed impressive, and they still remind one more of Dominants than of the other Thomastik lines, like the Vision family.

25 minutes ago, The Violin Beautiful said:

I’m seeing and installing Evah golds on lots of violins as well. I think they’re similar in popularity to the PIs. That’s another string set I’ve really liked lately. 

Evah Golds are truly amazing sounding strings -- for a short time.  PIs on the other hand (and Dominants) hold their quality much steadier throughout their lifespan IME.

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Glenn Dicterow usually uses a Jargar Forte E with the Pi set - he also did that back when he used Dominants. Zukerman is actually mostly using Vision Titanium Solo these days, with a Westminster heavy gauge E. And Noah Bendix-Balgley is using a mixture of Pi and Rondo.

I saw Perlman using a set of Pi strings a couple years ago, but I've heard that his current favorite set is actually the Westminster heavy E string, an Infeld Red A string, and Dominant D (aluminum) and G strings.

I would disagree that Pi strings have more color than Dominants - they feel a lot more compressed to me, although they do have some advantages (easier projection, significantly greater longevity, faster response), but Dominant strings still feel a lot more gut-like to me, in terms of both the sound and the response. Dominants are still my favorite strings overall, but I wish the lifespan were better.

I feel like Pi strings require a different adjustment from Dominants - they are somewhat higher in tension. I also feel that, much like Dominants, there is a big difference in the way the set works depending on your choice of aluminum or silver D string, as well as your choice of E string. I personally prefer the aluminum D strings because of the lower tension, while the higher tension silver D strings seem to make the G string sound choked.

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I've thought about it but whenever I decide to spend $100 on one of the newer synthetic violin sets somehow I end up with Eudoxas or Olives in the mail. Or just two sets of Dominants. I'm stuck thinking all of the newer synthetics are just designed for more power.

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